Legislative Update
KEMA Negotiations Headline Short Week
Legislators returned last Wednesday to a significantly lighter and shorter workload, leaving negotiations on bills regarding the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) the centerpiece of legislative work. Numerous physicians are closely watching the movement, especially on SB 273, which would critically limit the authority of county health officers during public health emergencies. The House position maintains current authority.

Negotiations reached a breaking point Wednesday evening when House Judiciary chairman Fred Patton (R-Topeka) told Senate chair Kelly Warren (R-Leawood) that he would not stand any longer for her cross examining him and criticizing the House KEMA position laid out in HB 2416. This led to her bringing forth a document holding multiple suggestions for change, which the House agreed to examine and consider for a later meeting.

The conference committee drama was unlike that commonly seen in Statehouse meetings, with House conferees and those watching expressing bewilderment at an approach that seemed like anything but negotiating. (Those interested in watching the Wednesday exchange can see it here.)

It took House and Senate leaders working behind the scenes to move the conferencing on HB 2416 and SB 273 into a more positive mode Friday morning, when the Judiciary chairs decided to advance negotiations by finding areas of similarity and agreement between the two bills. Full explanations of these bills can be reviewed here.

Because the House and Senate are conferencing on two separate bills, once they’ve negotiated an agreement, the compromise position will be placed in a separate bill that will have its original contents removed – SB 40. Conferees are working on a tight timeline, with a March 31 deadline looming for the expiration of last year’s KEMA legislation.
APRN Discussion Continues
House Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman Rep. Brenda Landwehr (R-Wichita) has called on physicians’ and APRNs’ representatives to meet yet again, in hopes that differences between the two groups can be settled regarding legislation such as the now-dead HB 2256.

As previously reported, APRNs are seeking to practice medicine and surgery, as defined in KSA 65-2869, independent of a collaborative physician agreement. While numerous meetings between the opposing entities have been attempted this year and many years prior, the chairwoman asked the parties to come together with her in a new attempt to find common ground.

In recent individual lobbyist discussions, lobbyists for APRNs continue to insist that the above-cited statute was merely what physicians “think.” Nonetheless, KAFP legislative liaison Dodie Wellshear, KMS executive director Rachelle Colombo and three others will sit down Tuesday to discuss proposed APRN legislation, differing positions, statutory authority provided nurses versus medical doctors and potential compromises.
Family Doctor of the Day

KAFP is again sponsoring the Family Doctor of the Day (FDOD) program during the Kansas legislative session. Licensed physicians, including residents, volunteer to provide mostly-minor health needs to legislators and their staff. The Legislature highly values and appreciates access to these services, especially when so many are away from their hometown primary care physicians.

We want to thank Dr. Nicole Yedlinsky (Kansas City) for serving as FDOD last week. Your time and efforts in serving as Doctor of the Day are greatly appreciated!
Bills We’re Monitoring

Please note that this list has been revised to remove bills that did not meet the calendar deadline. The remaining bills either advanced before the deadline, are in committees that are exempt from the deadline, or have been “blessed” (run through an exempt committee).
 
SB 14 – An act concerning governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas; extends deadline to Mar. 31, 2021
Status: Passed Senate 34-1; Passed House 119-3; Signed by Governor
 
SB 92Creating the Kansas equal access act to authorize the use of medical marijuana
Status: Referred separately to S-Public Health & Welfare and S-Fed & State Affairs

SB 174Updating scope of practice requirements for advanced practice registered nurses without a supervising physician, imposing requirements therefor and updating certain licensure requirements *KAFP entered opposing testimony
Status: S-Public Health & Welfare hearing on 2/18; Blessed for future action
 
SB 212 – Prohibiting the secretary of health and environment from permanently requiring additional immunizations to attend a child care facility or school
Status: Referred to S-Public Health & Welfare; Blessed for future action
 
SB 213 – Prohibiting an employer from taking any adverse employment against an employee because of the employee's vaccination status *KAFP entered opposing testimony
Status: S-Commerce hearing on 2/25; Blessed for future action

SB 295 – Giving counties the authority to adopt prioritized COVID-10 vaccination plans separate from state guidelines
Status: S-Public Health & Welfare hearing on 3/15

HB 2066 – Expanding the military spouse and servicemember's expedited licensure law to all applicants who have established or intend to establish residency in Kansas, providing for the practice of telemedicine by out-of-state physicians, permitting the issuance of temporary licenses in emergencies and the use of electronic credentials (defers to state of license origination) *KAFP opposed, before amendment; now neutral
Status: House passed as amended 103-21; S-Commerce hearing on 3/11

 
HB 2158 – Making permanent provisions for the advisory committee on trauma and the statewide trauma system regional council to conduct closed meetings and keep privileged records regarding trauma cases
Status: Passed House 121-1; referred to S-Public Health & Welfare hearing on 3/18
 
HB 2174 Establishing the rural hospital innovation grant program to assist rural hospitals in serving rural communities
Status: H-Health & Human Services hearing on 3/16
 
HB 2184Creating the Kansas medical marijuana regulation act
Status: H-Federal & State Affairs hearing on 2/24 (proponents), 2/25 (opponents)

HB 2206 – Updating certain definitions, referral to specialty services and coordination of care provisions in the Kansas telemedicine act
Status: Hearing in H-Health & Human Services on 2/9; Blessed for future action

HB 2259 – Permitting the use of expedited partner therapy to treat a sexually transmitted disease
Status: House passed 75-49; S-Public Health & Welfare


HB 2340 – Increasing the minimum age to 21 to purchase or possess cigarettes and tobacco products *KAFP supports
Status: H-Federal & State Affairs passed favorably

HB 2380 – Amending the healthcare stabilization fund minimum professional liability insurance coverage requirements and the membership of the board of governors of such fund
Status: H-Insurance & Pensions; Blessed for possible future action
Legislative Committee Calendar, Week of Mar. 15, 2021
Following are health-related committee meetings of interest, as known today. Please note that the calendar is subject to change. Floor debates are live-streamed and can be accessed at www.kslegislature.org, under the Audio-Visual tab.
 
Monday, March 15
8:30 a.m., S-Public Health & Welfare
Briefing on COVID-19 Vaccination Phases with KDHE
Hearing on:
  • SB 295 — Giving counties the authority to adopt prioritized COVID-9 vaccination
plans separate from state guidelines.

1:30 p.m., H-Health & Human Services
Hearing on:
  • SB170 — Making permanent provisions for the advisory committee on trauma and the statewide trauma system regional council to conduct closed meetings and keep privileged records regarding trauma cases.

Final action on:
  • SB238 — Establishing certification and funding for certified community behavioral health clinics, authorizing telemedicine waivers for out-of-state healthcare providers, reducing certain requirements for licensure by the behavioral sciences regulatory board and expanding out-of-state temporary permits to practice behavioral sciences professions.

Tuesday, March 16
8:30 a.m., S-Public Health & Welfare
Hearing on:
  • HB 2062 — Providing certain exceptions to the confidentiality of state child death
review board documents.
 
1:30 p.m., H-Health & Human Services
Hearing on:
  • HB2174 — Establishing the rural hospital innovation grant program to assist rural hospitals in serving rural communities.

Final action on:
  • SB175 — Enacting the rural emergency hospital act to provide for the licensure of rural emergency hospitals.

Wednesday, March 17
1:30 p.m., H-Health & Human Services
Roundtable discussion on:
  • Telehealth Payment Parity

Friday, March 19
8:30 a.m., S-Public Health & Welfare
Hearing on:
  • HB 2208 — Authorizing telemedicine waivers for out-of-state healthcare providers, reducing certain requirements for licensure by the behavioral sciences regulatory board and expanding out-of-state temporary permits to practice behavioral sciences professions.
 
Final action on bills previously heard